The Masked Singer trotted out its second batch of singers for Season 2, including a helluva singer in Flamingo and a Leopard that taught everyone a lesson about making gendered assumptions. As always, veteran extravaganza eleganza expert Nick Cannon decided he would seduce viewers' eyeballs, this time cloaked in a shimmery shower curtain-looking thing that made him look like Count Chocula with a Liberace fetish. After he tossed off that garment — which was immediately whisked off to the Smithsonian, where it belongs — it was time to get down to business. This week was about Black Widow vs. Leopard and Flamingo vs. Panda, and at the end, Panda got her head snatched off. See who it was at the bottom!
Black Widow does an impressive, soulful version of "I Wanna Dance with Somebody," and she sounds good. Jenny McCarthy says, "Oh, she can sang," and girl, yes, we felt that. One of the first things Nicole said was that she's a tiny little thing, and Jenny noted she's voluptuous, like Sherri Shepard. As Jenny noted, starting her turn on this show with Whitney says "I know what I'm doing," so this is someone in the business.
The clues: She said she wanted to present herself as darker and edgier than people see her. There was a framed photo of a peach. There were a few references to film; we saw film canisters and "director's cut."
Guesses: Jenny guessed Amber Riley, which is a really good guess; Jenny is good at this. Ken guessed Yvette Nicole Brown, his co-star from Community, another good guess. And Robin Thicke guessed Sherri Shepard, another good one.
The Leopard had everyone gagging when — plot twist — Leopard tuned out to be a man! That's what we get about making gendered assumptions based on what's someone's wearing, wagering the Leopard's feminine air and regal, queen-looking outfit meant the singer was female. He sang "Somebody to Love" by Queen, and really got into the role by purring and moving feline-like... even trying to grab Nick's booty at one point.
The clues: Leopard said he's adaptable and can survive anywhere, and he knows what it's like to be at the top. He said he's been a heavy hitter and that "no one could catch me," which probably means this is an athlete. Further confirmation this is probably some flashy, fashionable sports person came when he said all people want to talk about is what he's wearing, his celebrity aspect, and who he's dating. Also, "J'adore," was scribbled on the wall in the background, which could be a nod to Paris, intrinsically linked to fashion. Leopard is very tall.
Guesses: Robin guessed Billy Porter, but no, this person has been in the spotlight a minute longer than Billy, and is probably an athlete. Ken guessed Robbie Williams, which probably isn't right. And Jenny suggested that Leopard is probably more along the likes of a Jamie Foxx.
Matchup No. 2: Flamingo vs. Panda
Flamingo's got pipes, y'all. She killed "Sucker" by the Jonas Brothers, and Jenny wisely said she might be in a girl group whose albums we've probably bought before.
The clues: There was a big Miami influence in the background as Flamingo referenced "ZooTube." She said she'd let us in on all her tricks for beauty, and she knows what it's like to be trapped in a career. She said she was here to take back control of her destiny, and was holding a stick-shaped light almost like a sword. She said, "I'm sassy," and that the flamingo is a symbol of luxurious vacations. Robin peeped that "escape" might be be clue for the group Xscape but couldn't think of Kandi Burress' name. That'll be awkward the next time they see each other.
Guesses: Olivia Jade, Tia Mowry, Kandi Burruss
Nicole Scherzinger said she didn't think Panda was a professional singer, and that was apparent as she got through Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)." It was spirited but not an incredible vocal performance. However, as Ken noted, she gave off good energy and felt like a sentimental fave.
The clues: Panda said she was lovable but fierce. She made a reference to "Dear Papa," as the sight of chains hanging from the ceiling offered a hint in the background. Panda said her dad taught her she didn't have to bang her chest to get attention, that she was from a famous family, and she was taking a page from her dad's book.
The Guesses: Someone said Martha Stewart (come on!) and Venus Williams — a good guess from Nicole. Jenny guessed Ronda Rousey. Ken guessed Queen Latifah, but the ladies shut that down saying, "Queen Latifah can sing!" Panda felt that shade and threw her hands up like "I'm standing right here!"
In the end, Robin Thicke had it right on the very first guess: Panda was revealed to be Laila Ali!
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.